We often say that we need more space.
We need space to make a decision, space to not feel suffocated, space where we can relax and enjoy our time off without others intruding.
So we buy a big house.
It’s a smart decision at the time, especially if we’re planning on a family. Kids need their own rooms, we need a working space, or a garage, or a guest bedroom…
Why wouldn’t you buy a house or an apartment?
But soon kids grow up and they leave. You find yourself using only the kitchen and your bedroom.
Still, the bills have to be paid, the mortgage has to be paid, and everything just piles on.
Suddenly, you don’t need all that space – and frankly, you don’t want it.
What can you do?
You can rent out your house or even a single room and earn enough money to cover your bills and have some left over as well!
Why Rent Out Your House or Apartment?
There are numerous reasons for considering this course of action. You might be in a situation that’s similar to the one I’ve described above. Or, you could be moving somewhere for a period of time and want to keep the property because you will be returning.
Whatever the reason, it’s smart to ensure that your property is earning you money instead of being a constant drain on your financial resources. Also, if you have a property that’s habitable you want it lived in so it doesn’t go down the hill as time passes. Fixing odd thing or two is easy but getting rid of mold, damp, and general wear that settles in a house that’s not been lived in for years is difficult.
Ways to Make Money by Renting Out Your House or Apartment
There are several ways you can do this, depending on what you prefer:
Rent out long term if you do not use the property
Rent out short term with the help of AirBnB and similar services
Rent out a spare room in your house/apartment
Who Can Rent Out a House or Apartment?
Obviously, you’re going to have to be an owner in order to rent. Don’t rent out properties you don’t own – if you’re already a lessee I doubt your landlord would be happy about that situation. Also, keep in mind that you have to follow the law – depending on the state you’re in you might not be able to rent out apartments that do not have heating/gas, their own bathroom, or apartments that generally do not conform to ‘standards of habitability’ that are mandated by the law.
Where to Start
After you’ve given it some thought and determined that renting out either your property or a room in the property you live in, it’s time to actually do it.
Renting a whole house will be different than renting just one room, but you will want to think about the following:
STEP 1 – Decide on what you’re renting – are you renting your house or apartment? Will you be moving out or simply renting one room at your property?
STEP 2 – Check local and state laws – some states will require that you have a permit to rent out a property – a permit can be needed even if you’re renting out one room in your apartment.
STEP 3 – Prepare a rental agreement – try to make it comprehensive – don’t leave things to chance and don’t approach the subject with the cross-that-bridge-when-we-get-there mentality.
STEP 4 – House rules – even if you’re renting out your entire property, make sure that your tenants know the house rules and agree to them before they move in.
STEP 5 – Learn about average rent in your area – services such as Rentometer will help you find the right price.
STEP 6 – Prepare your property – make sure that everything is in working order and that the property (or the room) is clean.
STEP 7 – List your property – put your property up on the Internet with services such as AirBnB or Rent.
STEP 8 – Interview the applicants – try to find someone who is a good fit for you, especially if you will be sharing space.
STEP 9 – Screen the applicants – if you’re taking someone for a longer period of time, make sure you know what you need to know – background and credit score are a good start.
STEP 10 – Communicate – communicating often ensures that you’re both on the same page about things and that no unforeseen issues are going to crop up.
Online Renting Services
A spare bedroom can be a great way to earn some money that you're going to put toward paying the bills.
A whole house is even better - you don't have to bleed money maintaining a property you hardly use; simply move in somewhere small and let your property make money for you!